A new poll suggests Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo has a race on his hands.
The New York Times conducted a "live poll" in Curbelo's district, where readers could see in real-time how many calls were being made and where voters were responding to the poll within the district. After four days of thousands of calls, Curbelo emerged with a three percentage point lead over Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a result that is within the poll's five-point margin of error.
The poll, conducted via phone from September 13 to 17, called 509 voters in Curbelo's Miami-to-Key West district which he has represented since 2015. Curbelo finished with 47 percent support and Mucarsel-Powell picked up 44 percent of support with nine percent of voters being undecided.
The poll comes a month after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released polling that showed Mucarsel-Powell trailing Curbelo by a larger margin than a poll conducted months earlier, suggesting that the Democrat who ran for state Senate had work to do to make the race more competitive.
"This race has tightened considerably. The more voters get to know Debbie, the more the wind is at her back," said Melvin Felix, a spokesperson for the Mucarsel-Powell campaign. “Curbelo voted with his party in Congress to take healthcare away from more than 100,000 people in this district. The more that voters get to know Debbie, the stronger she’ll be in November.”
Curbelo maintains a fundraising advantage over Mucarsel-Powell and outside groups are expected to invest heavily in the race. Most of the election prognosticators rate the race as a toss up or slightly in favor of Curbelo after Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by more than 14 percentage points in the district.